After any severe natural disaster, many people are left wondering how to even start picking up the pieces, both literally and figuratively. If you’re a business owner, you not only have to worry about repairing your home, but also your commercial property – your livelihood. If your building experienced severe water damage, use these hurricane damage recovery tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore to get your business up and running as soon as possible.
FIRST THING'S FIRST: STAY SAFE
Safety should always be your number one priority – business owner or not. Even after the rain stops and the flood water begins to recede, the dangers of flooding still loom. You may not be able to see potential electrical hazards, gas leaks and water contaminants with an untrained eye, which is why you should avoid entering your property until an inspector determines the structure is safe.
STEPS TO RESTORE YOUR BUSINESS AFTER A FLOOD
After you're given the OK to reenter your place of business, follow these five steps to safely examine the damages and start your commercial property's recovery and restoration.
1. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Begin the claim filing process for any major damages as soon as possible. We know that dealing with insurance can be a long, frustrating and daunting process. That's why it's best to place a call to your insurance agent right away. You can always call back with more details on the damages later, but the sooner you start, the better.
2. Wear Safety Gear
If your property survived the storm, it may have some battle scars. Since there will likely be debris, broken glass and flood water inside, you'll need to wear the proper protective gear during cleanup, including gloves, closed toe shoes and possibly waders. Try to cover any exposed skin to reduce the risk of scratches, cuts and infection.
3. Survey the Damage
Seeing your business damaged by a flood can be devastating. It's OK to feel sad or overwhelmed – in fact, it's completely normal. Take you time to process the extent of the storm's impact. As you assess the scope of the damage, remember to take pictures of any damage you see and to make detailed notes for your insurance claim and company records.
4. Clear Rubble and Salvage What You Can
Remove unharmed or repairable items and store them in a safe, dry place until the restoration of your building is complete. If the rest of the debris is safe to handle, clear away rubble so you can begin repairs. Make any minor fixes if you can, but don't be afraid to ask for help.
5. Find the Right Professional Help
Flood damage restoration experts know how to tackle jobs of all sizes and get your business back in shape quickly. Find a company like ServiceMaster Restore, who can guide you through the entire restoration process and have proven experience helping businesses recover after hurricane flood damage.
HOW TO SECURE MORE FUNDING FOR REPAIRS
Since Hurricane Harvey affected many areas outside of marked flood zones, you may or may not have the coverage required to pay for all the repairs your business needs to get back on its feet. If you need additional financial help, look into business recovery funding from:
- State and federal aid
- Disaster relief organizations
- Local resources
- Bank loans
- Private funding
In the wake of devastation, there is the promise of recovery. You can and will rebuild your business, and we're here to help you every step of the way. Browse our Texas locations to find the ServiceMaster Restore that's closest to your business, and give us a call 24/7/365 to get the help you need today.